Tonight (or, more accurately, very early this morning), I finally finished and posted the piece I started writing in January, which may appear below this one. A post every two months is pretty prolific for me these days, but I was particularly inspired today.
I am getting better and better at this “looking for a job” thing, which is increasingly becoming a “who am I and who do I want to become” thing, which feels really healthy and really overdue. Just like with anything else, the more I try to express who I am, the more I begin to understand myself. Until now, I have given myself scant permission to attempt to direct the course of my life as much as is possible (which I acknowledged earlier is seldom much and maybe less than we’d all like to think). I have always found it easy enough to define myself by the things that I do, or that I know how to do, or have done. Accomplishments and skills are easy for me. It’s a little harder for me to get up the courage on a regular basis to actually reveal what is important to me. Instead, I have allowed the things I’ve done — and for whom I’ve done them — to speak for themselves. The result is that, more frequently than I like, I have allowed myself to be defined by the goals and the mission statements crafted by others. It’s not that I’m not imaginative; it’s not that I’m lazy; it is not even that I haven’t sufficiently apprehended the importance of showing my values, dreams, and goals to the world. It is simply that I have been doing other things. (Also, frankly, I have been afraid of myself and my own personal power and the fact that maybe I could actually accomplish some of the things I want to, if I just put myself in position to do them.)
Having no job at all for a longer period than ever before as an adult — and we’re talking barely more than a month, to be clear — has been a gift so far, as I had hoped but not necessarily expected. It has helped me shed some of the ways others have defined me and allowed me to start defining myself so much more clearly. It’s also helped me start to prioritize what will really get me where I want to go. It’s cleared away the barriers to truly thinking about what I want out of life, what I want to accomplish, and which path I want to follow.
Soon I will articulate a few of these things, some of which I spent a lot of time thinking, talking, and writing about today, but not just this moment.